I am a 35 year old guy, that has been having major back/sciatic problems for over a year. Here is my story, with a hopeful ending. Don't give up people...
Over a year ago, I started having intense sciatic pain in my left leg. No idea what happened, but it may have been a bad cough from a cold I had. Just one day, cough ..cough...BAM, sciatic pain.
Turned out to be a pretty badly herniated L4-L5 and a less herniated L5-S1. The L4-L5 was on my left L5-S1 on the right. Only my left hurt 80% of the time, but there was some pain on my right occasionally.
I went to an orthopedic surgeon who wanted a microdiscectomy , a neurosurgeon who gave me steroid injections, that did nothing and also wanted surgery, a pain management doctor, who was calling for more injections, then surgery. It was looking like surgery was the only option, but I decided to wait.
I have been on Tramadol, Neurontin and NSAIDS for the entire year. Tramadol helps a lot and so does Neurontin. My insurance doesn't cover physical therapy, so I have never tried it.
About a month ago, my nasty sciatic pain suddenly, and for no really reason started to go away. Last year at this time, I was using motorized scooters at super markets, and a wheelchair one time when I went to the zoo. I used to eagerly wait for my next does of Tramadol, so I could get some pain relief, now I have to try to remember and have been missing doses.
I see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is possible to get better. I am now going to start cutting back on pain meds, and exercising VERY carefully. I can now walk without limping and the pain has gone away 70% or more sometimes. No idea what is happening, but it is a blessing.
Just wanted you all to know, sometimes surgery may not be the only option. Pain can get better, it does happen. I am not 100%, and I could wake up tomorrow back to the living hell I was in, but there is hope.